Big Issue Japan Foundation

The Big Issue Japan Foundation is a Not-for-Profit Organization that helps homeless people to rebuild their lives. We envision the society where everyone has a place to call home.  We apply the international definition of homelessness, which includes everyone who is vulnerably housed (who have no permanent housing or the possibility of losing their home within a short period of time), and then the number of hidden homeless people is much higher than is shown in government research reports.

Homelessness is a problem of social structure, and is a problem that concerns everyone in society. We believe that homelessness is only the tip of the iceberg of what are modern day poverty issues involving social exclusion.

Street Literacy Award

This is an award for literary works written by homeless people, and aims to have their written work read as widely as possible..

Photographer Hideaki Takamatsu and writers Tomoyuki Hoshino and others launched in 2010. Over the past three literary awards were held, and more than 100 literary works were born from the streets.

 People who are homelessness always live with fear of others' eyes. So, when you talk to the outside, there is a tendency to tell a story that does not betray the circulating "homeless image" in general. There is a daily life on the street on the street. When you can write it in your own words, the writer will feel fulfillment different from usual.

The act of writing is to step out of yourself and expose yourself to outside of your area. The act of reading is also an act which goes out one step from myself and can be involved within the range of others. Both go out of oneself, step forward little by little on the same horizon (= on the road) that is nobody's thing and nobody's, gradually connecting words and engaging with others. 

Ultimately, we aim to become a festival event that allows everyone involved, both writer and reader, to become participants. In addition to being written by people on the street, we also named the "Road Literature Award" with the meaning of a festival where people will jump out and open on the streets.